Implementing a new ERP system can empower a business to make long-lasting, multi-faceted changes throughout the organisation. But the new system needs to be adopted, embraced and sustained for this to be successful. This is where a change management strategy comes in.
This is a collective term for everything you do to prepare, support and assist individuals and teams to make the necessary changes. Read on to learn more about this concept.
What are some telltale signs of poor change management?
When technology integrations fail, change management has failed. Here are some common symptoms of that:
- Employees become overwhelmed by having to take on too much change at once.
- Management makes the mistake of confusing communication with engagement.
- Decisions are made without consulting the people that will be affected.
- Managers fail to consider the workflows of employees and their feelings about the new technology.
- The IT department gets possessive about the project and doesn’t account for challenges that will arise after going live.
- There is insufficient sharing of information about progress, meaning stakeholders don’t understand what is needed from them.
- There is no confirming agreement between departments, meaning work efforts remain siloed.
These are all symptoms of inadequate change management. Improve the way you manage change and your chances of success increase.
Challenge Versus Reward In Change
Change often goes against our instincts. But, when it is done right, it can unlock new opportunities and realms of success for your organisation. It is therefore prudent to help everyone in your organisation understand the benefits of proposed changes on a personal level. Employee buy-in needs to be complete to achieve the maximum potential of the new system.
Keep in mind that resistance to change can be healthy. It forces management to pick their battles and consider the changes they are proposing with more care and due diligence. This encourages:
- Good planning.
- Empathy for the needs of everyone in the organisation.
Making ERP Change Management Work – Top Tips
When change is happening, it needs to be managed. This is a delicate process and it will be slightly different for all organisations. This is because the workplace culture and dynamics are always unique. Decision-makers and leaders need to be sensitive to what is relevant to their specific business. Having said that, there are some things all organisations can do for effective ERP change management:
Consider The Project as a Whole
Modern technology is designed for inclusivity. ERP exemplifies this, integrating as many of your business processes as possible. As such, you need to consider not only your current needs but also long-term goals.
Plan ahead and be prepared to modify those plans as you go. Planning is absolutely essential for ERP implementation, and this should cover change management before, during and after the deployment. Don’t allow fear of the unknown to become a toxic presence in your organisation.
Gain and Maintain Stakeholder Engagement
Everyone that matters needs to recognise and understand why this change is happening. You need to connect with stakeholders and seek to align everyone’s mindsets and goals. Leadership is particularly important, so keep management and leaders in the loop as well as employees.
Measure The Impact of Your Project
Your entire organisation will be impacted by a new ERP system. It is your job to consider the extent of this impact on different teams and individuals. You should also analyse how resources will be impacted to understand the full impact of this project on your business.
Identify The Strengths of Your Company
Your company has a culture and this is the key to how teams think and act. It also involves the interactions between management and employees/clients. No two implementation projects are the same, and you need to base your strategy on the strengths of your company’s culture.
Communicate Often and Tailor Messages to The Audience
A lack of communication is likely to foster resistance to change. Employees need to understand the reasons for change. The answers they get need to be tailored to them, as different stakeholders in this project have different needs. Communicate early and often and ensure the message is relevant to the person/people you are speaking to.
Give The Change Journey Structure
This is about more than an implementation timeline. You need to understand things like:
- Mindsets prior to the onset of change management.
- How you want the people involved to think and act.
- An understanding of potential obstacles and plans for mitigation.
- The activities that will keep everyone engaged.
This is a critical part of any ERP implementation. Keep learners engaged and train them in different ways to keep everyone motivated. Offer hands-on learning as passive observation is not always stimulating. And focus on the essentials instead of bombarding people with information that isn’t all relevant to them.
Remember Change Management is an Ongoing Process
Employees may feel the urge to revert to old processes. If this goes on too long, the entire project could suffer. You need to have processes and strategies in place to sustain the changes you bring in.
- Be active and dynamic in your leadership.
- Have influencers champion the changes.
- Maintain enthusiasm and motivation.
- Listen to concerns and try to address them.
- Keep repeating the message of the benefits of the changes.
If you handle your change management effectively, you can make a success of your ERP implementation. If you feel you need help with this, seek it out from consultants and other experts.
Why choose Eventura as your ERP implementation partner?
Eventura has been providing robust business solutions to countless organisations (big and small) for over two decades. We are ERP experts and can identify all of your business needs, and deliver a comprehensive ERP solution that works for you.
As Sage 200 Partners and NetSuite Solution Providers, we can help you identify which solution will fit your business needs the best. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.
We’re also managed IT service providers meaning we can help you identify your entire IT infrastructure requirements from day one. If you would like to speak to one of our ERP experts to discuss your options or request a free demo, you can request a free call back here.